Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2
Bear Paughs

Benchmarks -- Which Site?

Recommended Posts

So far I am liking the concept of "Waymarking" and the site looks like it will be good (although I find some of it confusing still - I suppose that will change as more is put on the new one and I actually start using it.) My question is about Benchmarks -- will they still be on the GC site or on the new WM site? If the new site is for those things that don't have a physical cache, I would think Benchmarks would belong there.

Share this post


Link to post

Oh, and if Benchmarks are moved to the new site, does that mean Benchmark photos will show in my "User Gallery"?

Share this post


Link to post

And.. and... and.. will the benchmark DB be refreshed for where possible?

 

I hope to post Japanese benchmarks also, which I find all the time while out biking/caching/hiking and stuffs.

 

VW

Share this post


Link to post
And.. and... and.. will the benchmark DB be refreshed for where possible?

 

I hope to post Japanese benchmarks also, which I find all the time while out biking/caching/hiking and stuffs.

 

VW

I would imagine that regardless of what happens with the current Benchmark process, that Japanese Benchmarks would make a great category if you'd be willing to manage it! (Or subcategory, if non-US benchmarks were the main category, and then users in other countries could jump in, too.)

Share this post


Link to post

Benchmarks each are unique and have a unique location. Seems like they are more aligned to geocaching.com.

 

I am glad the profile is shared between the site!!! :) Thanks.

 

Uber stats page in the future? Maybe hanging off of Groundspeak?

Share this post


Link to post
Benchmarks each are unique and have a unique location. Seems like they are more aligned to geocaching.com.

Benchmarks should stay on geocaching.com. I like being able to easily find out if I can do a two-fer: Find a cache and a benchmark in the same area. It would really stink if I had to go to Waymarking.com just to find out if there was a benchmark near a cache listed on geocaching.com. I don't think it takes any skill to find/visit anything listed on Waymarking.com, whereas it takes skill to find a geocache or benchmark.

Share this post


Link to post

The problem with the benchmarking section on geocaching.com, is that if you find a benchmark that is not listed in their database, you're screwed. You can't log it.

 

On the Waymarking site, anyone can add appropriate benchmarks to appropriate categories. I agree that several other categories need to be added to support this. Perhaps a discussion on what these categories should be would be a better use of our time.

Share this post


Link to post

Just saw this on another thread:

 

QUOTE (Semper Questio @ Aug 19 2005, 06:04 AM)

 

And taking this to the next logical step, should not benchmarks be either moved to Waymarking or spun off into their own site as well? Just a thought since these also do not have containers and signable logs.

 

Jeremy's reply: Yes. They will be eventually.

 

OK - then at least PLEASE leave the Find All Nearby Benchmarks link on the cache page!

Share this post


Link to post
OK - then at least PLEASE leave the Find All Nearby Benchmarks link on the cache page!

Not a big benchmark hunter myself...and if they'll include nearby benchmarks, why not nearby waymarks in general?

 

For waymarks that take over the virtuals from this site, some will be just as much a "find" as a benchmark is.

Share this post


Link to post
I don't think it takes any skill to find/visit anything listed on Waymarking.com, whereas it takes skill to find a geocache or benchmark.

Why? Please explain the difference between finding a benchmark on Waymarking.com or on geocaching.com.

Share this post


Link to post
I don't think it takes any skill to find/visit anything listed on Waymarking.com, whereas it takes skill to find a geocache or benchmark.

Why? Please explain the difference between finding a benchmark on Waymarking.com or on geocaching.com.

As I said earlier today in a different thread, commited geocachers will look down on waymarkers (and maybe vice versa). The statement that it doesn't take any skill to log waymarks is true for most of those posted already but very false for a few. Finding BMs can be much easier than finding a cache or much harder depending on the criteria used for validating a find. Pertending that we have 3 sites already, GC requires signing a physical log at the mark. BM requires little for verification of the mark except other people invalidating your log by saying "It isn't there". WM requires nothing for many of the current marks. Those who enjoy each of the games are going to think their rules are better. BMers want to believe they are more like GCers than WMers. Personally I think at this point that they are right.

 

So my suggestion is, leave BMs alone until you move them to their own site. Don't create strife by changing their rules twice.

Share this post


Link to post
I don't think it takes any skill to find/visit anything listed on Waymarking.com, whereas it takes skill to find a geocache or benchmark.

Why? Please explain the difference between finding a benchmark on Waymarking.com or on geocaching.com.

As I said earlier today in a different thread, commited geocachers will look down on waymarkers (and maybe vice versa).

I asked you a very specific question. Explain the difference between finding a benchmark on geocaching.com and Waymarking.com. Remove all the touchy feely "look down" stuff and answer the question.

Share this post


Link to post
I don't think it takes any skill to find/visit anything listed on Waymarking.com, whereas it takes skill to find a geocache or benchmark.

Why? Please explain the difference between finding a benchmark on Waymarking.com or on geocaching.com.

As I said earlier today in a different thread, commited geocachers will look down on waymarkers (and maybe vice versa).

I asked you a very specific question. Explain the difference between finding a benchmark on geocaching.com and Waymarking.com. Remove all the touchy feely "look down" stuff and answer the question.

First, I wasn't the one you asked. I just barged uninvited into the conversation. But my answer is simple. Waymarking does not require going anywhere. I can legally log waymarks and never leave my nice air conditioned room. I did that earlier this morning here. The category says "Instructions for logging waymarks of this category: No log instructions provided." The owner says in the logging rules "Go ahead! Waymarking is just for fun, no rules! But if you see something funny, try to capture it and post it for everyone to see!" I believe I met all the requirements without breaking a sweat. You are supposed to at least visit the area of a BM. I was told last year that I could use a pair of binoculars to see something that looked about right to verify I was there (I can provide a link if needed) and there is some rigor in the BM community that just sitting at home writing logs isn't good enough. "Real" geocaches have a log to sign (virtuals and locationless are gone from there and are over here now, right?).

 

So, BMers think they are closer to GCers because they at least require you to get off your tush and go somewhere. WMers don't absolutely require that. Yes, if and when the BM category is finalized the rules could be even more strict here than they currently are on GC. Personally I would strongly encourage that. Digital cameras are getting inexpensive enough that BMs should require a picture, IMHO. But as it stands today, I can easily see that many BMers don't want their "caches" moved over here where all the lazy rabble are being sent. (No, I don't believe WMers are lazy rabble).

Share this post


Link to post
I don't think it takes any skill to find/visit anything listed on Waymarking.com, whereas it takes skill to find a geocache or benchmark.

Why? Please explain the difference between finding a benchmark on Waymarking.com or on geocaching.com.

Never mind. I was experiencing some FUD about how the two sites will work together, but feel better now that I've rooted around the Waymarking site some more.

 

To reply to Jeremy, there's no difference between finding a benchmark on Waymarking.com or geocaching.com besides where I would have to log in. I'm not sure why I wigged about having to go to a new site to log a benchmark find. As for my comment about the skill needed to find stuff on each site, I was too hastily assuming that things on Waymarking would be easy to find. But the point of the Waymarking site is not about finding stuff but visiting stuff.

 

I'm not opposed to having benchmarks moved to Waymarking. I just would like the link on a cache's page that shows all nearby benchmarks to remain. It would just have to point to the benchmark section of Waymarking, which I don't expect to be difficult. Then I was concerned about being able to find geocaches near a Waymark. Well guess what, there's a link to geocaching.com maps that shows all the caches nearby. It seems the two sites are better integrated than I thought. Maybe eventually we can get a link that points to waymarks near geocaches on geocaching.com?

 

As for looking down on Waymarking, I don't. I've already logged one visit and posted one place. I think Waymarking would be a good activity when weather gets poor in the winter. Instead of going out in the cold windy snowy woods I can log and rate a nice warm meal. Or visit any place else that wouldn't entail the risk of frostbite.

Share this post


Link to post
Waymarking does not require going anywhere. I can legally log waymarks and never leave my nice air conditioned room. I did that earlier this morning

Ummm, I may be all wet, but just because that one category can be logged from your living room, doesn't mean that others are that way.

 

There can be photos required to log benchmarks on WM.com, if the category manager places that restriction on the category. Since the category hasn't been created yet, you can make your desires known on the other topic.

 

I can log benchmarks right now without leaving my living room. Would you like to see me do it? I can find some that others have found and type a nice log. There is no photo requirement currently.

 

But, those are my opinions.

Share this post


Link to post
I don't think it takes any skill to find/visit anything listed on Waymarking.com, whereas it takes skill to find a geocache or benchmark.

Why? Please explain the difference between finding a benchmark on Waymarking.com or on geocaching.com.

As I said earlier today in a different thread, commited geocachers will look down on waymarkers (and maybe vice versa).

I asked you a very specific question. Explain the difference between finding a benchmark on geocaching.com and Waymarking.com. Remove all the touchy feely "look down" stuff and answer the question.

First, I wasn't the one you asked. I just barged uninvited into the conversation. But my answer is simple. Waymarking does not require going anywhere. I can legally log waymarks and never leave my nice air conditioned room. I did that earlier this morning here. The category says "Instructions for logging waymarks of this category: No log instructions provided." The owner says in the logging rules "Go ahead! Waymarking is just for fun, no rules! But if you see something funny, try to capture it and post it for everyone to see!" I believe I met all the requirements without breaking a sweat. You are supposed to at least visit the area of a BM. I was told last year that I could use a pair of binoculars to see something that looked about right to verify I was there (I can provide a link if needed) and there is some rigor in the BM community that just sitting at home writing logs isn't good enough. "Real" geocaches have a log to sign (virtuals and locationless are gone from there and are over here now, right?).

 

So, BMers think they are closer to GCers because they at least require you to get off your tush and go somewhere. WMers don't absolutely require that. Yes, if and when the BM category is finalized the rules could be even more strict here than they currently are on GC. Personally I would strongly encourage that. Digital cameras are getting inexpensive enough that BMs should require a picture, IMHO. But as it stands today, I can easily see that many BMers don't want their "caches" moved over here where all the lazy rabble are being sent. (No, I don't believe WMers are lazy rabble).

I think you're missing the point. You don't have to go to the waymark in order to POST it, but you still have to go there to VISIT (log) it. No one can prove whether or not someone went to the waymark or not, but if they don't actually go there, they are violating the spirit of the game.

 

There are category managers who collect waymarks, there are waymark posters and there are waymark visiters (loggers). You don't have to visit a waymark to POST it, but you certainly are supposed to go to the waymark to VISIT it.

 

This might help you understand how things work on Waymarking.com:

 

Geocaching.com is like a Waymark Category

Geocache is like a Waymark

Geocache Log is like a Waymark Visit (Log)

 

The reason locationless caches are broken is because they are presently schemed like this on GC.com:

 

Locationless Cache is like a Waymark Category

Cache Log is like a Waymark

?? is like a Waymark Visit (you can't presently visit a loc-less log)

 

Make sense?

Share this post


Link to post
I did that earlier this morning here. The category says "Instructions for logging waymarks of this category: No log instructions provided." The owner says in the logging rules "Go ahead! Waymarking is just for fun, no rules! But if you see something funny, try to capture it and post it for everyone to see!" I believe I met all the requirements without breaking a sweat.

Just because one category has loose requirements doesn't mean they all do. It's possible for a category owner to set their category as "open" and anyone can log anything, or they can set it so they have to approve all submissions. I highly doubt that anyone would want to approve all benchmark submissions, but I can certainly see certain logging requirements. Especially for the "visit" as mentioned above.

Share this post


Link to post
I think you're missing the point.  You don't have to go to the waymark in order to POST it, but you still have to go there to VISIT (log) it.  No one can prove whether or not someone went to the waymark or not, but if they don't actually go there, they are violating the spirit of the game.

 

There are category managers who collect waymarks, there are waymark posters and there are waymark visiters (loggers).  You don't have to visit a waymark to POST it, but you certainly are supposed to go to the waymark to VISIT it.

 

This might help you understand how things work on Waymarking.com:

 

Geocaching.com is like a Waymark Category

Geocache is like a Waymark

Geocache Log is like a Waymark Visit (Log)

 

The reason locationless caches are broken is because they are presently schemed like this on GC.com:

 

Locationless Cache is like a Waymark Category

Cache Log is like a Waymark

?? is like a Waymark Visit  (you can't presently visit a loc-less log)

 

Make sense?

Longwinded diatribe follows:

Executive summary - there is a difference between spirit of the game and rules of the game.

 

Oh I totally agree that it violates the spirit of the game. I am appalled that you can post a waymark without visiting it but thems the rules. I am just pointing out that the CURRENT rules of the game make it far too easy to just sit at the computer for a few hours and LEGALLY "visit" places thousands of miles away. Yes, it is early in the game. I hope the rules are tightened considerably to what we both recognize is the "spirit" of the game. But I believe that discussion was held in the first few days and I got the impression there was a lot of desire from TPTB for lightly controlled anarchy. I rather quickly came to the conclusion that these are entirely different games. GC demands that you visit sites although, in the final analysis, it is up to the cache owner to enforce that requirement. In WM the rules start off much looser so that more things will fit and this has quickly lead to a gross violation of the spirit of visiting a mark. If the published rules for the category and the published rules for the waymark neither require a visit, what are we to expect?

 

So let's assume this will all straighten itself out in the next few weeks or months. I know when I created my waymarks I treated them more as a cache log than a virtual cache. I took no thought to any special rules I wanted for people to follow to log a visit. Last night I got introduced to a waymark category with what I believe are rules that will lead to a mess but I could comply so I did. I had hoped to research and post several other waymarks in that category but now I've put them down on the list. The category owner is the boss or everyone wanting to create a waymark and the waymark owner is the boss of everyone wanting to post a log. I believe that is the way it should be. I will be editing all my waymarks to set some reasonable rules as any locationless owner would.

 

Hopefully this is all just growing pains and every category owner and waymarker will review their rules for logging and then enforce them. I have never logged a BM (though I have found many) because I consider the logs there as not meeting my standards for rigor. Why bother. The fun is in the hunt, not the numbers. I don't need to log BMs and they don't need my logs. Seems like a fair balance. I might start doing BMs if they were moved here with strict rules for logging. Then again, I might still enjoy the hunt more than the numbers and hassle of logging. As it stands today I believe I could "legally" log several UK Trigpoints. People are creating Waymarks like they logged a locationless and there are no rules prohibiting logging a "virtual visit" other than what we know is the correct "spirit of the game". If that situation continues then I might gladly make numbers as my version of the game. And I can understand why many BMer would be very opposed to their activity being moved over here because the spirit might be the same on both sides but the rules are not.

 

BTW, that is a very good description of why locationless will be better over here. I did locationless early in my adventure but once they are done... Why bother visiting one that someone else has already logged unless it is a real WOW? Over here I can do the same one you just did and we both get the same enjoyment. If you're ever in the neighborhood, stop by and I'll take you down the street for some fries and we can both log it. :laughing:

Share this post


Link to post
I did that earlier this morning here. The category says "Instructions for logging waymarks of this category: No log instructions provided." The owner says in the logging rules "Go ahead! Waymarking is just for fun, no rules! But if you see something funny, try to capture it and post it for everyone to see!" I believe I met all the requirements without breaking a sweat.

Just because one category has loose requirements doesn't mean they all do. It's possible for a category owner to set their category as "open" and anyone can log anything, or they can set it so they have to approve all submissions. I highly doubt that anyone would want to approve all benchmark submissions, but I can certainly see certain logging requirements. Especially for the "visit" as mentioned above.

Sorry I missed this yesterday. Currently Benchmarks have no logging instructions because a waymark can not be added directly to Benchmarks. There are subcategories. Currently there is one subcategory - UK Trigpoints.

"Instructions for placing waymarks into this category:

You might also want to check Teasel's excellent Trigpointing site at http://www.trigpointinguk.com/

Instructions for logging waymarks of this category:

No log instructions provided."

 

In other words, go to a website that is similar to Geocaching and find a trigpoint that hasn't been reported here in Waymarking yet. Report it and it's yours. If someone else has already reported it and has an approved waymark for it, log it. Nothing in those directions indicates to me that I have to leave this chair. If you read the 10 currently claimed waymarks, 2 politely ask for a photo but don't seem to demand one. The rest have no requirements for logging. Most people seems to be creating waymarks like they were cache logs rather than as if they were virtual caches. The paradigm shift hasn't taken hold yet.

 

Sitting at a computer creating and logging waymarks isn't the spirit of Waymarking and it certainly isn't the spirit of benchmarking. But right now those seem to be the rules covering much of Waymarking. This is why I can understand some angst when someone proposes moving BMs over here. There are rules where they are. Here there is anarchy. For McDonald's anarchy is good. For benchmarking anarchy is very bad.

 

Ok, maybe as bootron indicated I'm missing something. Maybe everyone is supposed to know that they can only POST waymarks while sitting at a computer rather than VISIT them. Maybe the category owner isn't supposed to approve waymarks unless they think the claim was made by someone who actually got out of their chair. Ok - the difference between de jure and de facto. But if the category owner has it set up for automatic approval of additions and waymark owners doesn't care who visits...

Share this post


Link to post
There are rules where they are. Here there is anarchy.

Are there written rules to logging benchmarks? On the Benchmark Hunting Page I do see a general request for digital pictures of the BM and the surrounding area for those adding logs:

 

If you have a digital camera, we ask that you take a picture of the mark, and one or two pictures of the area around the mark. Even if you don't have a digital camera, just log your find for others to read.

 

I'm not a benchmarking expert (have only logged a couple), but I seem to be missing something about what makes benchmarking so well controlled in it's existing form on GC.com. Is it a cultural thing, maybe?. If someone adds a completely bogus benchmark log over on GC.com, what happens to the log? Can somebody make the determination and delete the log? Or does it just sit there?

 

It seems to me that if benchmarks become waymarks, in theory you'd have a mechanism by which more stringent control could be applied. Assuming, of course, that the category owners choose to qualify new benchmark recordings, and assuming that those that record the waymarks choose to qualify those who log visits to the benchmarks.

 

Not arguing, just trying to carry on the conversation. :lol:

Edited by cache_test_dummies

Share this post


Link to post
I don't think it takes any skill to find/visit anything listed on Waymarking.com, whereas it takes skill to find a geocache or benchmark.

Why? Please explain the difference between finding a benchmark on Waymarking.com or on geocaching.com.

 

Jeremy,

 

There is no difference between logging on GC.com & WM.com. The real question is "Who will manage the Benchmark catagory?" And what will become of the NGS database and all those current logs? Will the catagory manager be the one to manage the "Benchmark Database"?

 

John

Share this post


Link to post

I look for benchmarks. I do not get into them the way others do, who turn in their findings to the ngs database.

 

Which brings up my question. Will benchmark reporting to the ngs database still mean something if it is spun off onto its own site, or onto Waymarking? Or will it become trivialized? That is something that will concern many people who benchmark.

Share this post


Link to post

If Groundspeak decides that the benchmark section will become part of the Waymarking section, I hope that their circa 2000 database from the NGS will be moved as well, basically as waymarks established by the NGS instead of members. We rely extremely on this data!

 

The issue remains of the data being old, with useful post-2000 recovery data in the current NGS database not being included. (We did have some forum discussion on various ideas of automatically importing that from the NGS when a benchmark page is accessed.)

 

However, the big advantage in the Waymarking scenario is that benchmarks newer than 2000 and benchmarks never in the NGS database can be added by us.

 

An aspect of benchmarking that would be vastly useful is to have the benchmarks' locations appear as icons on the "geocaching.com" maps. I'm hoping that if the benchmark section moves to the Waymarking area, that this might happen. I see that current "geocaching.com" maps accessed from a waymark don't have waymark locations - only geocaches. Unless filters could be applied as to which type of waymarks to include on a map, they could become so cluttered as to be unsuable. Of course, we benchmarkers would, 95% of the time, want to select "benchmarks only"! :mad:

Share this post


Link to post

The other option, is to have the benchmarking section become as independent from geocaching as the Waymarking section of Groundspeak. I don't know what the computer or administrative advantage was of making the Waymarking section instead of continuing to expand the 'locationless' areas, but perhaps the benchmarking section should be formally split off too, but not become part of Waymarking.

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

Share this post


Link to post
This post, which is buried in the McDonald's thread, gives a lot of info that is pertinent to this conversation. Each category, such as benchmarks, will have its own set of stats. That makes it independent, as the last poster asked for. And when the stats trickle up to a site-wide stat, they will be weighted based on a variety of criteria.

Share this post


Link to post
This post, which is buried in the McDonald's thread, gives a lot of info that is pertinent to this conversation. Each category, such as benchmarks, will have its own set of stats. That makes it independent, as the last poster asked for. And when the stats trickle up to a site-wide stat, they will be weighted based on a variety of criteria.

 

The question remains as to what happens to the current database of NGS PIDs and the found logs on Geocaching.com.

 

John

Share this post


Link to post

Lil Devil -

 

Actually, none of my thinking in the 2 posts I recently made about benchmarking and Waymarking had anything to do with stats. Benchmark stats have always been totally separate from all the rest of geocaching stats and my personal opinion is that that is a good thing.

 

Instead of being about stats, my posts were wondering about:

 

1. the fate of the benchmark database we use and

 

2. what is, and would be on the "geocaching.com" maps. (currently no waypoints and no benchmarks; just geocaches).

Share this post


Link to post

I think that the benchmarks should be catagorized.

 

1. NGS

(NOAA)

(a.)

U.S. Geological Survey.

This organization was established in 1879,is charged with the resposibility for preparing the National Topographic Map Series covering the United States and it's outlying areas.

 

2.USC&GS

US Coast & Geodetic Survey.

(b.)

This Bureau of the Enviromental Sciences Sercices Administration,ESSA,celebrated the completion of 198 years in 2005.It publishes the Nautical Charts of the coastal waters of the United States and its Territorial possessions,executes the principal geodetic surveys of the country,and prepares and distributes the aeronotical charts needed by American Civil Aviation.

Presdent Thomas Jefferson and Ferdinand Hassler,were the founders of the Coast Survey.

 

3. US Naval Oceanographic Office.

(c.)

This agency performs essentially the same hydrographic charting functions as the Coast and Geodetic Survey but with respect to waters not contiguous to the United States and its possessions.

 

4. US Lake Survey.

(d.)

This is the Nautical charting agency of the Corps of Engineers.It is concerned primarily with the publication of navigation charts for the Great Lakes.

 

5. BLM

US Bureau of Land Management.

(e.)

This orginazation is responsible for surveys of the Public Domain.

Rectangular Public Surveys are still being executed in some of the Western States and in Alaska.

 

6. USE

US Corps of Engineers (US Army)

(f.)

Each Army engineer district office has a survey section that performs many kinds of surveying tasks associated with the control of Navigatable waters over which the Corps has juridiction.

 

7. US Bureau of Reclamation

(g.)

The extensive construction program of this organazation involves many surveying tasks ranging from the preliminary mapping of a proposed resivoir to the layout of a large dam.

 

Like many have said it would be a clutter of marks if not seperated in some form.

I also think that benchmarking should remain a part of GCCom.

Share this post


Link to post

The way it appears to me at this point in time is that benchmarking on GC.Com is going to die. It appears as though it has been decided that benchmarking will be a part of Waymarking.com. The MASTER category already EXISTS!

 

I find this disturbing due to the fact that at the present time we have a set database that determines what is a valid "Target". By this I mean there is an enumerated set of "game pieces" to be found and they are organized in a manner that is condusive to finding a particular mark or group of marks. Waymarking is designed to find the mark first and then add it to the database, just the reverse of the way benchmarking is now done on GC.com. It will become a tangled mass of any type of mark.

 

As in Geocaching, there is the thrill of being the First To Find. With benchmarks there is currently the possibility of being the first Geocacher to find it on GC.com as well as the possibility of being the first on the NGS database. With Waymarking it would be more like the First to PLACE a cache in that spot rather than the first to actively seek that particular benchmark. It just loses something in the translation!

 

We currently have over 1 GB of benchmark pictures we have found and logged on GC.com and quite a bit of other hard drive space tied up with benchmark hunting applications and other files. If things are changed very much, I guess we will have a lot more free space on the hard drive.

 

I suggest that the benchmark hunting portion of GC remain intact regardless of where it is located and all other "survey marks" have their own subcategory.

 

One final question - Will benchmark hunting retain it's own forum? If so where will it be located?

 

John

Share this post


Link to post

I must say, you benchmark enthusiasts demonstrate an impressive passion for your activity. You have brought a number of thoughtful, carefully prepared suggestions to these discussions, and despite an obvious concern over the direction that this might take, your discussions have generally been polite and respectful to the people who have worked hard at building the new site.

 

Regardless of what happens, I hope this all works out well for you. :mad:

 

One final question - Will benchmark hunting retain it's own forum? If so where will it be located?

 

But John, be honest. This isn't really gonna be your final question, is it?

:mad:

Share this post


Link to post
With benchmarks there is currently the possibility of being the first Geocacher to find it on GC.com as well as the possibility of being the first on the NGS database. With Waymarking it would be more like the First to PLACE a cache in that spot rather than the first to actively seek that particular benchmark.

Not necessarily. During alpha testing, the Waymarking site was populated with about 16 million waymarks from some NGS database. They were sub-categorized into around 20-25 sub-categories. This was done mostly to test the database with a significant number of points, something that could not be done by just the few handfuls of volunteers hammering on it. I only looked at the NGS stuff briefly, but when I did I saw a whole bunch of things listed close to my home that are not on the GC.com site. I have no idea if TPTB plan on re-populating the production database with this stuff, and at this point I'd guess that they don't know either.

 

The point is, it *could* be done, and then we'd be at least at a point where we were when geocaching.com first added benchmarks, although we'd probably have a much larger database to start with.

 

To extend that, I'd bet it would also be possible to migrate the logs from the GC site to here, too. Sure there might be a few logs that don't translate well, and any "variables" wouldn't be filled in, but overall it would probably work fine. Going forward, new logs could exploit the new features that weren't available before.

Share this post


Link to post

Lil Devil - I think you misunderstand how the Benchmark Hunting functions at this time.

 

We work with the NGS database of survey markers. We try to locate the individual benchmarks and then log them on GC.com. Some benchmark hunters also log them at the NGS site. This database gives descriptions and coordinates for each individual benchmark as well as the last time it was "Recovered". Recovered meaning, it was found and its condition was recorded, not removed from its location.

 

Now with Waymarking there will be no such databases for the vast majority of the survey markers out in the fields. Each benchmark logged on Waymarking will be the equivalent of someone placing a cache and subsequent finders of said benchmark will be the "cache" finders. Along the lines of "I found this benchmark and I am listing it here at Waymarking.com, now you go find it.". This just the reverse of how we benchmark hunt now. The benchmarks are in the database before being found, not added after being found.

 

Without the database as the basic tool from which to operate, it then becomes a "hit or miss" listing of whatever type of benchmark happens to be stumbled upon. You are not actively seeking a particular benchmark until someone else has accidentally found it.

 

That is just not the same as going out looking far a specific benchmark that was set (Placed) in 1871 (the oldest we've found so far).

 

Perhaps the current set-up for benchmark hunting could be left as is and then sub-categories for all the different types of survey disks that have no available databases would be created.

 

John

Share this post


Link to post

No I understand it, John, that's why I tried to explain in my prior post that it is possible to pre-populate the waymark database with all the benchmarks in the NGS database, as well as any other databases that Jeremy or bootron can get their hands on. Maybe that's the best way to go, unlike how the UK trigpoints category is being done.

 

But then, as we've already seen with the current site, not all benchmarks were imported. Some were either missing from the initial database, and some records were just different enough that the importer didn't catch them. With the Waymarking site, we'd then be able to add those missing records manually. Seems like a perfect solution.

 

I brought this up for discussion. If it was done this way, would the new site be more acceptable to you?

 

Or, let me put it this way. Assume for a minute that TPTB *are* going to move benchmarks over. They haven't done so yet because there are some unanswered questions. (what exactly the questions are I don't know.) This is our chance to discuss the issues and suggest *how* and if the new section should be pre-populated, and how it should be logged.

Share this post


Link to post

Having just started doing benchmark hunting, I'll add my 2 cents:

 

I have enjoyed the challenges of finding benchmarks listed on the NGS database, using the pre-2000 list carried over to GC.com and the ones that can be downloaded directly from the NGS web site. For now, I use GC.com to get credit for the find, post the actual coordinates (vs. the SCALED coordinates), and post images to show its current condition.

 

If Waymarking can preserve this process (and possibly enhance it) then I'll be happy.

 

I almost always use the "nearest benchmarks" link from a cache page to look for them. The feature I really want is GPX downloads for benchmarks, including past logs. (I can wait for the next step, Pocket Query for BMs)

 

If it's easier to update the NGS database and add the GPX feature on Waymarking, then I'll go along with that. If it's possible to enhance BMs with GPX and updated databases on GC.com, that's what I actually prefer. Either way, I want the process of obtaining data from NGS to be preserved.

Edited by budd-rdc

Share this post


Link to post
No I understand it, John, that's why I tried to explain in my prior post that it is possible to pre-populate the waymark database with all the benchmarks in the NGS database, as well as any other databases that Jeremy or bootron can get their hands on. Maybe that's the best way to go, unlike how the UK trigpoints category is being done.

 

But then, as we've already seen with the current site, not all benchmarks were imported. Some were either missing from the initial database, and some records were just different enough that the importer didn't catch them. With the Waymarking site, we'd then be able to add those missing records manually. Seems like a perfect solution.

 

I brought this up for discussion. If it was done this way, would the new site be more acceptable to you?

 

Or, let me put it this way. Assume for a minute that TPTB *are* going to move benchmarks over. They haven't done so yet because there are some unanswered questions. (what exactly the questions are I don't know.) This is our chance to discuss the issues and suggest *how* and if the new section should be pre-populated, and how it should be logged.

 

My apologies, I didn't realize that GC.com had access to the different types of benchmark databases.

 

It would be great if each type of benchmark (NGS, GLO, state and counties, etc.) had it's own database and sub-category listing. For any types that don't have a database just have a sub-category for that type and as each is found it could be added - similar to the 'Trig-point' category.

 

If that can be done it will sure make it hard to decide which benchmarks to hunt for next! Decisions, decisions....

 

If the current logs can be transfered as well, that would sure make the transition a lot easier for us "Oldfarts" that tend to get set in our ways.

 

There is one thing I would not be too crazy about though. From reading the fora/forums for most waymarks when you add a waymark you decide the logging requirements for that particular waymark, perhaps that could be dropped for the benchmark category.

 

Maybe a few set logging rules from the master category, as is currently used in benchmark hunting now.

 

If we can play it the way we are playing it now, i.e. get the description first & then going to find the mark, would be fantastic.

 

Thanks for clearing this up and listening to our concerns.

 

John

Share this post


Link to post

Has the talk only been about adding benchmarks to the Waymarking website, or has anything been said about a completely separate benchmarking site? This was not made clear in Jeremy's reply of a couple days ago.

 

If something is going to be happening with benchmarks, (and Jeremy has already said that something WILL happen), in my eyes a better solution would be the creation of a completely stand-alone benchmarking site. This site could include the current National Geodetic Survey database, along with separate sections for adding additional marks that you might find (state & county, water board, cadastral, private) that currently are not loggable in the NGS database.

 

A problem might be which database would have priority, if such a thing could be said. For example, a water board benchmark, USGS benchmark, or a GLO mark might all be NGS marks, as well as representing their respective organizations.

 

Crash test dummies wrote: "despite an obvious concern over the direction that this might take, your discussions have generally been polite and respectful to the people who have worked hard at building the new site."

 

This is actually another concern of mine. The benchmark forums are far and away the most polite, professional, and informative forums I have ever seen. There are survey professionals that are active members of the forums that are free with their knowledge and willing to help newcomers and "old hands" alike. These include surveyors in private practice, as well as local, state, and federal service. Several folks are with the National Geodetic Survey, and have set the marks that we look for. It is a unique perspective that it would be hard to maintain if the benchmarking site were moved to the Waymarking site, and the benchmark forums were integrated with the Waymarking forums.

 

People's time is precious, and it would be hard for me to see a professional wading through pages of topics on the Waymarking forums to find the ones that would be about benchmarks.

Edited by Me & Bucky

Share this post


Link to post

Since the current Benchmark forum is located here at Groundspeak it would make sense to just leave it as is. But the logs for the benchmarks would be a shame to lose since so many of them have new coordinates and "go to" directions in them. They also have other pertinent information, such as "all access is restricted" or photos showing that the benchmark has been destroyed or severely damaged. Would the current links in the forum still work after the changes are made or would they be broken?

 

This is information any surveyor can currently access along with any Geocacher that is planning to look for a particular benchmark.

 

Another point to consider when trying to determine where Benchmarks will end up has to do with Surveyors. There have been several who have come onto the forum and "informed" us that they do indeed use the current database to do a search for found benchmarks in an area where they will be starting a new project. Since we are helping them out with our information it would be nice to keep the site "user friendly".

 

As to Me & Bucky's question about logging priority, that should be an easy fix. When the benchmark page is accessed it would be logged as the "type" that the finder had selected before going on the "HUNT". If he used the GLO database then the mark would be logged as a GLO mark, if he used the NGS database it would be logged as an NGS mark. If he just happened upon the mark then it would be logged as whichever type he did his search for, I.E. whichever database he did his search in and found the listing.

 

I don't know how much work it would take to cross-reference the databases so when you log a find on the NGS database that log would also appear in any other database that particular mark was in or vice-versa.

 

Just a little something to consider if it has not already been thought about.

 

John

 

 

Edited for grammar

Edited by 2oldfarts (the rockhounders)

Share this post


Link to post

The stuff below doesn't exactly answer the following question, but it's as close as I could get.

Jeremy 

Posted: Aug 21 2005, 07:33 AM

 

Why? Please explain the difference between finding a benchmark on Waymarking.com or on geocaching.com.

 

Well ol' BDT spent some time reading lots of articles, FAQs, waymark category descriptions, logs, etc., did some testing in several categories, and made a comparitive spreadsheet of features that I could find.

 

There's variability in the waymark area so that different categories have different search items, etc., and I don't know what TPTB could/would/wouldn't/douldn't include for benchmarks IF they were moved from where they are now to the waymark area. In any case, what I was able to find from existing categories and how they work is listed below in the CODE thingie. (I wrote the item titles AS IF the benchmarks had already moved for more clarity.)

 

I put in a column of codes like M1, M2, etc. in case anyone wants to address any in a post. I probably missed some important items, especially by not knowing all the variable capabilities of the waymark area. Add some!

 

I am rather more worried about this possible move after I finishing this. The 2 areas that concern me greatly are:

1. I saw no provision for downloading Benchmark lists to a .loc or .gpx file (P11).

2. All the categories I checked had only 2 log types; Note and Visited (T4, T5). No Found, Not-Found, Destroyed types. Maybe the category manager could add these and even stuff like Found-with-no-disk, etc. ; I don't know what the currently built-in waymark-category-dependent capabilities are.

 

There were a couple of waymark features that I saw no possible use with Benchmarks, like encrypt comments, archive log, and some other things I've forgotten just now.

 

It wasn't clear to me what a waymark manager (owner) would do. A possible advantage to having the benchmark area in the Waymark area is a possibility of quality control; i.e. do [something] about those found logs where someone found a reference mark instead. Whether that would be the waymark manager or the category manager, I couldn't exactly tell by reading the FAQ. Of course then you get the creepy possibility of ego-feeding log policing, etc. However, managing others' activities seems to be a design feature of Waymarking as I read it.

 

In an analog sort of way, currently, the NGS is the default Waymark Category manager. At Waymarking, it could be a person, committe, Groudspeak itself, or NGS by default as it is now (except for the capability of adding new marks).

 

"Cur" = Current

"Way" = Waymark

"No" simply means that I didn't see that waypoints had the feature for current categories. ;)

 

Code               Item                CurWay
                 Main Searching
M1  Postal Code                        YesYes
M2  PID                                Yes ?
M3  Designation                        Yes ?
M4  Designation with state filter      Yes No
M5  Coordinates (3 formats)            YesYes
M6  User                               YesYes
M7  Address                            No Yes
M8  City                               No Yes
M9  Keyword (Designation or in logs)   No Yes
M10 Popularity filter                  No Yes
M11 From an Origin on a List           No Yes
           Searches from Benchmark
S1  Nearest benchmarks                 Yes No
S2  Nearest geocaches                  Yes No
                 Benchmark Logging
L1  Allows specifying coordinates      YesYes
L2  Allows picture upload              YesYes
L3  Allows adjustable log date         YesYes
L4  Allows popularity rating (5 types) No Yes
                Types of logs
T1  Found it                           Yes No
T2  Didn't Find It                     Yes No
T3  Destroyed                          Yes No
T4  Post a Note                        YesYes
T5  Visited                            No Yes
  Proximity Search's Benchmark List Columns
P1  NGS's Last Condition               Yes No
P2  PID                                Yes No
P3  Distance from origin               YesYes
P4  Direction from origin              YesYes
P5  Designation                        YesYes
P6  State                              YesYes
P7  Type of mark                       Yes No
P8  Last found date                    YesYes
P9  "You" date                         Yes ?
P10 Geocacher last status              Yes No
P11 Select to download to .loc         Yes No
                            Maps
A1  Types available                     9  7
A2  Benchmark icons on GC map          No  No
                   General Features
G1  Addable survey marks               No Yes
G2  Manager for each survey mark       No Yes
G3  General Benchmark Manager          No Yes

Share this post


Link to post

I had originally posted this in the wrong spot. With a little altering, here it is in this thread:

 

Right now, I'm leaning toward having the main benchmarking activities on another site (ex. www.benchmark.com, if that isn't taken). My reasons:

 

- Fundamentally, it's a different activity. Waypoints are about finding and logging a place according to a theme where the time the waypoint is observed is not that important. Benchmarking is about recovering and logging an observation of a waypoint at that moment in time.

- There are currently 68,117 benchmarks recovered (GC stat 08-25). I'm still unclear how wm could handle this number in a well organized manner without extensive directory trees.

- Then there are the 736,425 NGS benchmarks in GC, which makes designing directory trees even harder.

- The benchmarking datasheets should be updated 'periodically' from NGS. If it is incorporated into wm, would updating be even harder?

 

Now, having said these points, I think that the waypoint site has a large potential in adding to the benchmarking activities. Possible categories:

- Benchmarks in ____ state not in the NGS database

- Interesting state border markers (whether they are NGS listed or not)

- Unusually named benchmarks

- Town/city hall benchmarks (these would by NGS only, though there would be overlap if there was a wm category for town and city halls)

- Benchmarks in Poor Condition

- Favorite Benchmarks

- Benchmarks on Mountain Peaks

- Moved (therefore destroyed) Benchmarks

- Vertically Mounted Benchmarks.

- Examples of each type of benchmark (ex. intersection station, survey disk, driven rod, drill hole)

- Examples of each organization that has a benchmark listed in NGS, like the list being developed in the benchmarking forum, could be done here.

 

A lot of potential that way.

 

As an added plea - wherever the benchmarking site goes or how the waypoint develops, I would really like to have a common profile to manage, have my stats, etc., and have an easy way to move from one to another. I often use cache sites to find benchmarks and vice versa. I might do the same with waymarks, but since the idea is to find and make a waymark, I'm less likely to do that. Forums, too, should at least have links to the other forums, or, like benchmarking in geocaching, they're top-level topics.

Edited by NorStar

Share this post


Link to post
Well ol' BDT spent some time reading lots of articles, FAQs, waymark category descriptions, logs, etc., did some testing in several categories, and made a comparitive spreadsheet of features that I could find.

Great stuff. Yes, the main reason why benchmarking isn't being moved to the Waymarking site now is that the features existing for benchmarking work fine on the existing benchmark section of geocaching.com. However as the Waymarking site progresses in form and function the features will soon overtake the features on geocaching.com and the benchmarking section.

 

Well, not entirely true. The code underneath will be identical on both sites eventually which means both sites will contain the new (and therefore improved) functionality. In many ways the benchmarking section will become identical as will the data share.

 

So for now benchmarking remains where it is.

 

Locationless caches didn't have much going for it in the first place so it was far easier to move to the new site.

Share this post


Link to post
Right now, I'm leaning toward having the main benchmarking activities on another site (ex. www.benchmark.com, if that isn't taken).

Well, it appears benchmarking.com and benchmark.com are both taken. Doh!

Share this post


Link to post
QUOTE (Jeremy @ Aug 25 2005, 08:39 AM)

 

So for now benchmarking remains where it is.

 

 

 

Thank you...for now.

 

Shirley~

 

 

Jeremy.....same here.....Thank you.

Spoo

Share this post


Link to post
QUOTE (Jeremy @ Aug 25 2005, 08:39 AM)

 

So for now benchmarking remains where it is.

 

 

 

Thank you...for now.

 

Shirley~

 

 

Jeremy.....same here.....Thank you.

Spoo

Thank you thank you.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, Jeremy, for allowing the Benchmarking section to stay where it is. :anitongue:

 

And thanks to Black Dog Trackers for a succinct comparison of benchmarking under the two sites! :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post

Also, my thanks. I posted elsewhere, but this seems to be the appropriate forum (thanks, BDT). I would like to reiterate that keeping the NGS database of marks pure and completely separate from other marks, and not allowing users to add to it, is important.

 

Updating from NGS' site is fine, and encouraged, but that should be done officially. Ideally you could take the monthly update reports from the NGS, which includes only the recently logged stations, and add these as logs to the Geocaching/whatever version. Same with the stations the NGS recently added. holograph has experience with this, although ya'll probably do as well.

 

Creating a category for adding NGS marks (or any other agency) you run across that are not in the NGS PID database would be good. I would advocate for a category for each of the major nation organizations (UK, Finland, Mongolia, etc.), one for each of the major organizations within a nation (in the USA, BLM, USGS, etc. as stated by Geo*Trailblazer) and then state by state for the US, Canada, UK and whichever other countries want it.

 

I agree with 2oldfarts' comments that the NGS master list is for a set of marks for people to go and find, and the additions are for "Hey, I found this mark, isn't it interesting."

Share this post


Link to post

I think all benchmarks could be in just one category, worldwide.

 

Keeping the NGS PIDs as identifiers of those marks from the NGS database should be a requirement, though. Other 'found' marks can be assigned identifiers in another series.

 

For instance, BN1234 and KW3445 would remain as the identifiers marks from the NGS database, while WMO3 and WNJ92 would be 'found' marks in Missouri and New Jersey.

 

New marks in the NGS database would keep their identifiers too.

 

I'm not in favor of separate categories for Fairfax County, USFS, BLM, USGS, etc. benchmarks. There would be 2 or 3 hundred categories for benchmarks. :laughing:

 

Potentially, people would want to log both NGS and 'found' benchmarks, as well as their analogs in other countries.

Share this post


Link to post
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2

×
×
  • Create New...